Irish lose heartbreaker in College Cup semis

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Amanda DaCosta scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute to help Florida State advance to its first NCAA Women's College Cup final with a 3-2 win over Notre Dame on Friday night.

DaCosta also assisted on Mami Yamaguchi's goal 15 seconds into the game, helping the Seminoles (18-5-3) avenge a loss to the Irish in last year's semifinal. Yamaguchi also had an assist and Sanna Talonen had a goal and an assist for Florida State, making its third consecutive appearance in the event, the Final Four of women's soccer.

Carrie Dew and Elise Weber scored for Notre Dame (19-5-2), which had a 17-game unbeaten streak snapped. The Irish were playing in the College Cup for the ninth time in 14 seasons, but lost in the semifinals for the third time.

UCLA (20-1-2) faced Southern California (18-3-2) in Friday's second semifinal.

Yamaguchi, the nation's second-leading goal scorer, touched the ball to start the game, then ran straight up the field. DaCosta fed her a perfect pass between defenders and Yamaguchi beat Irish goalkeeper Lauren Karas with a low shot for a 1-0 lead.

Yamaguchi's 24th goal of the season was the fastest in school history.

The Irish got their first corner kick in the 15th minute, and Kerri Hanks sent a high pass to Dew at the far side of the goal. Dew hit a shot that ricocheted off a Florida State defender to tie the game. Hanks finished the season with 21 assists.

The Seminoles regained the lead in the 33rd minute, with Yamaguchi providing the pinpoint pass this time. Talonen, a freshman forward, got the ball without breaking stride and sent a low shot under Karas. Her 18th goal of the season made it 2-1.

Florida State goalkeeper Erin McNulty saved a hard shot from Hanks three minutes into the second half as Notre Dame generated early pressure.

In the 56th minute, Weber sidestepped a Florida State defender and launched a high, hooking shot into the left corner to tie the game again.

The Irish kept the ball at the Florida State end most of the second half, but the Seminoles used another quick strike to score again.

Talonen split two defenders and found DaCosta cutting toward the net. DaCosta slid a shot under Karas to put Florida State ahead for good.

Florida State has outscored its opponents 17-4 in the NCAA tournament.

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